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Jay Currie

One Damn Thing After Another









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2/05/2005

On Iraq

This was up at Winds of Change, the Meatriarchy and Shotgun...It is worth repeating,

n spite of everything, the Iraqis voted. They did so with a passion and a seriousness that gives the lie to the cliché that Arabs are not ready for democracy. One myth down, a thousand to go.

Everyone says that this is the first free elections in Iraq for fifty years. That is another lie. There has never been one single free election in the long history of the Arabs ever. This is the first one.

It took the Americans to conduct it and force it down the throats of dictators, terrorists, exploding deranged humans, and odds as big as the distance between the USA and the Middle East....

If the endgame is propaganda, I don’t expect trashing America will end in our media. If, on the other hand, we write about what we feel is right and wrong, many should think again — at least on this issue.

A priori, taking the pen against America is not a good thing; similarly, taking the pen in praise of America is not treasonous. We have brains and we should use them.
Dr. Mohammed T. Al-Rasheed, Arab News

A Spade a spade...

Carle's startling testimony, at the public inquiry into the federal sponsorship program, drew a tart observation from Justice John Gomery. "If this were a drug deal, it would be called money-laundering," said Gomery.

"You're not wrong," Carle meekly replied.
cp
OK, now we have our terms straight...let's go to the lawyer for a little confusion on behalf of the client,
His lawyer, Pierre Latraverse, had a different assessment as he later left the hearing room. He called it an "inappropriate use of words by the judge."
The Cretienistas strategy is becoming very clear. If your guy looks bad attack the Judge. Attack the Commission. Attack, attack, attack.

Of course, when there is no defence, attack is really the only, if forelorn, option.

Update: Certainly perked up media coverage of Gormery: front page of the Sun...I wonder what Mr. K - he who shall not be linked - is saying...

2/04/2005

Leonard Cohen on 9/11

Interesting quote

On his new CD, "Dear Heather," the Canadian songwriter Leonard Cohen has a song about September 11 in which he asks, "Did you go crazy / Or did you report / On that day / They wounded New York."A footnote in the C's liner notes informs us that Mr. Cohen is using the word "report" in accordance with the third definition from The American Heritage Dictionary: "To present oneself; report for duty."
new york sun
Nice to see Cohen got it. The quotation is embedded in an article about Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs fame.

2/03/2005

Went to a Fight and a Caucus Meeting Broke Out

In the closed-door session, Toronto MP Tom Wappel, who is strongly opposed to legislation that will redefine marriage to include same-sex couples, accused Paul Martin of reneging on his promise to address the so-called democratic deficit by not allowing cabinet ministers to vote freely on this issue.
globe and mail
This is not the first time Liberal have called each other liars. But the internal war in the Liberal cacus on SSM could get interesting. Seeing twenty Liberal members suddenly find it necessary to take a walk would be more than a little amusing.

It will not, however, help the Conservatives much as they are still going to be painted as irredeemable bigots lacking the courage of their anti-SSM position simply because Harper is unwilling to nail the issue by saying he would use the not withstanding clause to over ride the decision of the Courts in seven provinces. Which means that the CPC position is that they are - for whatever harebrained reason - against gay marriage but unwilling to, er, do anything about it.

The best thing about all this is that there was never any urgency to introducing Federal legislation in the first place. Canada would have merrily continued with gay marriage legal in seven provinces and problematic in three. So what? While Alberta might well have refused to register gay marriages, it is next to impossible to imagine that the Alberta Courts would have refused to recognize such marriages contracted in other jurisdictions.

Of course, what Canada actually needs is a political party which could cope with such radical decentralization, had no problem with equal rights for citizens and was willing to fight for that principle. Fat chance.

Iraq

Two points in this al-Reuters round up:

Insurgents dragged Iraqi soldiers off a bus and shot 12 of them dead in the bloodiest attack on security forces since last weekend's historic election, the Iraqi army said on Thursday.
reuters
Shoot back.

It seems pretty obvious that the terrorist remnants are targeting police and soldiers. From which it follows that these guys should be armed and trained to shoot. Fast.

Second,
Kurds in northern Iraq, who make up about 15 percent of a national population of 27 million, voted almost unanimously at the weekend for independence in an informal referendum held alongside the official ballot.

Organizers of the unmonitored poll surveyed Kurds as they emerged from polling stations and asked them if they wanted to secede or remain part of Iraq.

Some 95 percent supported independence, organizers said. A senior Kurdish leader said self-rule was now inevitable, if not imminent.
reuters
Yup. this was on the cards the day Saddam fell. It can't be a surprise that, after ten years of effective autonomy under US and British aircover, the Kurds are none too pleased at the prospect of Shi'ite rule from Baghdad.

Is this a bad thing? Well it is if you are Turkey. But Turkey rather blotted her copybook by refusing, after French EU pressure, to allow the Americans to cross her territory at the outset of the war. Tough nuggies to the Turks.

There is nothing sacred about the territorial integrity of Iraq. It was, after all, invented shortly after the First World war by a diplomat drawing straight lines here and there.

Of course, there is the little matter of the oil. The territory of Kurdistan is well-endowed with crude. Nothing attracts a central government like black gold....

Google and Firefox....Wedding Bells?

Fresh off a Q4 in which Google saw its profit rise by 101% to 1.02 billion, the speculation grows that Gbrowser.com is on the way.

Adding fuel to the rumors that Google is going to introduce a proprietary browser, Google Inc. has hired the lead developer of the Firefox web browser, Ben Goodger away from the Mozilla Foundation. Despite a volume of circumstantial evidence such as the registration of the domain Gbrowser.com or its organization of open source programming events, Google has repeatedly denied speculation they are developing a web browser or an operating system. According to Google spokesperson Steven Langdon, Goodger will be working on products that enhance the browser experience such as the Google Toolbar and desktop search.
SEO Blog
Of course, if you'd been reading this blog or Tech Central Station you'd have got this speculation back in August....

2/01/2005

And Another Thing

I just hate it when idiots like Comrade Vic, see below, decide to tell me about religious rights. It happens I am a nominal Anglican who, for the last several years, lived in the Diocese of New Westminister where the Bishop, after a great deal of debate, some significant parish defections, and a great deal of bother at the Anglican General Synod, concluded that gay marriage within the Church was just fine.

So, yo, Vic, stop talking about religious rights as if they are a monolithically fundy thing. They are not. The United Church has been marrying gays and lesbians for years. Some parts of the Anglican Church are either performing such marriages or are on the brink.

I get so sick and tired of the Christian fundamentalists effectively reading people like me out of the religious world. I rather suspect God does as well.

Moron of the Moment

"What we are seeing is a pattern that whenever equality rights and religious rights collide, equality rights trump," said Vic Toews, the Conservatives' justice spokesman.
reuters
Watching the Conservative Party walk into a train wreck on gay marriage would be kinda fun if it were not so tragic. Comrade Vic seems to think that the primacy of equality rights over religious rights is a bad thing.

Of course the Liberals' bill is not about religious rights, it's about the provision of equal governmental services. It explicitly provides that no church is to be required to perform a gay marriage. And, if Vic would get a grip he would realize that when it comes to the provision of government services, religion should have nothing to do with it. If it did then Aziz Mohammad would be able to arrive with his religiously allowed third wife and demand registration of his marriage.

I expect will will see many a dim bulb like Mr. Toews rear on his or her hind legs and says something egregiously stupid before this is over.

1/31/2005

Dead Box

At a certain point, after prayer has failed, after promising to raise your first born as a geek has gone nowhere, after you have lost track of where the working hard drive is currently wired, a perfectly marvelous calm creeps over your hunched and hurting shoulders. You achieve a certain detachment from the @#$#% box. Most of your data is backed up, you have hacked your way down to the lost Win 98 product key, you have booted from a dusty CD to a rusty spare hard drive and it's worked. To your great surprise the box is working. Admitedly with, of all things, an invalid Recycle Bin error. But that beats the Hell out of "Fatal Exception 0028:C002EEE9 VxD NT KERN (01)" glinting at you maliciously from your dead box.

So, in triumph, you walk up the stairs to bring word of the resurection to your family whose very livlihood is hanging by a bug fix. A bounce in your step you arrive.

"Da Da" calls out your one year old who has not seen you for three days as you labour over the collision between an ancient box and software written by Polish logic chopping demons. Real enthusiasm there.

Your four year old is more blase..."Did you get Chicken Invaders" to work?"

The little imps' mother, serene in the face of unending descriptions of missing drivers and strange errors which cannot be found on mighty Google, in a voice struggling to mask brute superiority, greets the geeky warrior,

"So, when are you getting a Mac?"

Soon darling, soon.

Mope, Flail - Yikes

The subhead on the Globe and Mail Iraqi election story pretty much sums up MSM reaction to the heroic turnout in yesterday's election: "Despite high turnout, vote's success rests on Sunni acceptance".

Says who?

Well, no less a personage than the UN electoral adviser, a Carlos Valenzuela,

"For true acceptance of the results, people will be looking at the level of Sunni participation," Mr. Valenzuela said. "That's the indicator, and expectations are low. It's not a given that the results will be accepted. It depends on the Sunni minority . . . but it looks promising, we hope."
globe and mail
Which is rather like saying that the legitimacy of the first democratic elections in South Africa depended upon the acceptance of the Afrikaners.

Yeah, right.